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About Paul

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    Chapel Hill, NC USA
  1. Hi all, I just wanted to report on our visit today to Duke. The doctor was fantastic. He spend 2 hours talking to us and examining her. We got great news. He believes that my fiance may just have a very bad case of Reynoud's. She does have a high ANA and swollen fingers, but the doctor did not think there was reason to be overly concerned. We are seeking medical advice very early in her symptoms, but it was a very positive visit. There is no gaurantee that it is not Scleroderma or another autoimmune disease so we will visit every three months, but I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. I must say that I have never dealt with a more compassionate, knowlegable doctor. Thank you for all the support I have received here. i will keep you posted. Paul
  2. I notice that a number of people say they hope they qualify for a clinical trial. What kind of thing would disqualify someone from participating in a trial? Is being an X-smoker a problem? Thanks, Paul
  3. Thank you again for all the great advice and kind words. I will send an update after we have visited Duke. Thank you, Paul
  4. Thank you to all for all the great advice. It really means a lot. I struggle on a number of different levels. Fist of all, I keep searching for another condition that would cause Raynaud's, finger swelling and a high ANA blood reading. I keep thinking that 30 in 100,000 is like winning a lottery I didn't want us to enter. We will deal with whatever final diagnosis comes, but I hope for the best. Based on the responses to my original post and other comments on this forum, Duke is a great place to go and we are fortunate to be right down the road in Chapel Hill, NC. I will take the advice here and not do anything more until we go to Duke in a little over 2 weeks. Second, is that I struggle with how to be supportive without upsetting her more. I have found that it is not good for her at this point to research the internet as it just upsets her more, but I struggle with whether she needs to cry or be strong. I know that I am terrified and it is not my body with all the strange symtoms cropping up. She is terrified of having to have all the tests done. I know the tests are not optional and keep trying to stress that, but decided tonight that I just shouldn't discuss the neccessity of testing anymore. I will let the doctors tell her what needs to be done then just be there for her. Lastly, a crisis like this has made me realize how important she is to me and how unimportant everything else is. Reading the stories on this forum and being there for my fiance make me feel fortunate to be alive and in love. Thanks, Paul
  5. Hi, My name is Paul and I am new to these forums. I am engadged to an absolutely beautiful woman outside and in who has just received a preliminary diagnosis of Scleroderma. I have been scouring the internet for information after not having much faith in the initial Rheumatolgist who gave the diagnosis. I have found a lot of great information here on this site. The Rheumatologist basically said there was not much he could do except treat symtoms as they arise so we got her into see a Scleroderma specialist at Duke later this month. I realize that there is no cure, but it seems to me there are some preventative things that could be done in the short term to prevent the onset of symtoms. She currently has Raynaud's, swollen fingers and is very fatigued. Is it common that if there is no evidence of internal organ damage or skin hardening yet then do nothing? I am sure we will get better answers at Duke, but was hoping to get her some relief and possibly treatment more quickly. She is currently taking vitamen E and ibprofen for the swelling. I might have asked my question too soon. I just read another post where Plaquenil was recommended. That seems to be a good choice. I have a diffcult time being patient. I guess we need to wait till the appoiintment at Duke in 3 weeks and go from there. Any other advice would also be appreciated. Thanks, Paul
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